Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine used on crops all over the world.
A 2014 study released by Friends of the Earth Canada, Friends of the Earth U.S. and the Pesticide Research Institute (PRI) showed that:
- more than half of garden plants sampled in the U.S and Canada contain levels of neonicotinoid pesticides harmful to bees, other pollinator insects and birds.
- Nurseries commonly apply neonicotinoids as soil injections, granular or liquid soil treatments, foliar sprays (applied to leaves), and seed treatments. Water-soluble pesticides such as neonicotinoids are readily absorbed by plant roots and transported systemically in the plant’s vascular system to other portions of the plant, including roots, pollen, leaves, stems, and fruit.
- Plants treated with neonicotinoids continue exuding these pesticides in pollen and nectar for months to years after initial treatment.
To view the full 2014 study click here.
In 2015, Friends of the Earth U.S. and the Pesticide Research Institute released “Growing Bee-Friendly Garden Plants: Profiles In Innovations”, a report that profiles the strategies used by nursery and greenhouse growers to reduce or eliminate their use of neonicotinoid insecticides on garden plants.
Both study suggest that consumers ask nursery owners whether or not the plants they sell are treated with neonicotinoids or are labeled as such.
For more information click on the links below:
What are neonicotinoids?
BC Honey Producers to Hold neonicotinoid insecticide discussion.
BC Honey Producers Association Forum on Pesticides - March 2015 with presentations from the Ontario Bee Keepers Association, Canola Council, Crop Life Canada and a science presentation by Elisabeth Elle from SFU.
David Suzuki Foundation
Friends of the Earth Bee-Cause
Friends of the Earth "Growing Bee-Friendly Garden Plants" Report
Nature article " Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.
The importance of Bees research article by Katie Kress
The task Force on Systemic Pesticides